LDS Meeting House Reduced To Rubble – May 10, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Top, the mound of rubble as of Friday. Left, the edifice last year. Right, the scene Friday. Photos by KLH | Eye

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

A STREET – The Latter Day Saints Meeting House is no more. Demolition began last Monday at the building’s north end, and by Friday, heavy equipment had chewed through to the south end of the the once-stately brick edifice on A Street.

Monday, a demolition crew took down the building’s last vertical vestige, thefront entrance, which once supported the church spire.

That was left for last, as it had to be handled with special care to ensure that it fell backward onto the building site rather than down the front slope and possibly into A Street.

Bruce McIntosh of Kernen Construction said much of the building will be salvaged and recycled.

During last week’s demolition, piles of aluminum, lumber and fluorescent light ballasts had been set aside from the rest of the rubble.

“Some of it isn’t salvageable, like drywall,” McIntosh said. “Some of it, somebody comes in in the middle of the night and salvages it.”

Red brick cladding from the building will be ground up and re-used as gravel.

McIntosh said demolition had revealed a few instances of questionable construction, such as beams resting on brick, plus rot that had spread not just beyond what had been visible on the walls, but into beams.

“After we started tearing it down, we found all kinds of stuff,” he said.

The front entrance didn’t go down without a fight Monday morning. An excavator operator tried various tactics for pulling the rebar-reinforced concrete block arch down, but though it wobbled and yielded the occasional brick or stick of wood, the stubborn structure held its ground.

Finally, after grinding away at the structure’s shoulder, a large chunk was dislodged.

The rest of the structure was then sufficiently weakened, and with a tug, fell to earth atop the rest of the ruins.

The A Street site will take about two weeks to fully clear. The building’s concrete foundation will be left in place.